Laurie Taylor – 9 February 2017

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

February 9, 2017
Men rolling down a hill
Vice-chancellors go through their paces

It's a rollover!

Our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has praised universities minister Jo Johnson for his latest attempt to measure even more university activities. This new initiative, the roll over excellence framework (ROEF), will assess the readiness of individual vice-chancellors to accept government proposals.

Targett explained that in order to test this readiness, it was necessary to use a government proposal that was so patently ill-conceived that no reasonable person could possibly entertain its adoption.

Enter the teaching excellence framework. In Targett’s words, “What better test could there be of the average vice-chancellor’s acquiescence?” For as was recently pointed out by Stuart Croft, vice-chancellor of the University of Warwick, it is “the overwhelming view of those actually involved in higher education” that the TEF “metrics are flawed”. Or in the words of Roger Brown, former vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University, “there simply is no scientific basis for the TEF”.

“This means”, said Targett, “that vice-chancellors who mutely go along with the TEF despite such uncontested evidence of its invalidity and unreliability, display a truly heroic readiness to roll over.’’

Would this be the only test of a vice-chancellor’s readiness to submit to new government initiatives?

Targett said he had no knowledge of any new test but he understood that Jo Johnson would be adding to his illustrious ministerial record by proposing that vice-chancellors not only accept all the flawed provisions of the new TEF but do so while standing on their heads with a carrot up each nostril.

Victorian men with slate

Advertisement – Creative writer

Back in the days of the research excellence framework, our university hired several leading writers to add some gloss to our list of high-impact research publications.

However, in the teaching excellence framework, the so-called narrative will need to be even more creative as it will not be based on anything so substantial as research but on three discredited measures of teaching quality.

This will mean abandoning the small sleights of hand and circumlocutions and structured ambiguities that characterised our REF submission and going for flat-out deception.

Would you like to be part of this exciting initiative? Apply in triplicate, marking your application “Liar”.

Solitary deviance

Following press reports that a lecturer at the University of Leeds has been disciplined for “repeatedly bonking” in his office comes news of an even more serious case of inappropriate university behaviour.

According to several complainants, Professor Gordon Lapping of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies has been discovered “repeatedly thinking” in his office. One colleague, who asked not to be named, claimed to have opened the door to Professor Lapping’s office unexpectedly and discovered him openly engaged in an explicit act of self-reflection.

As we went to press there was no news of any disciplinary response to these complaints, although we understand that Professor Lapping has been warned by the university medical doctor that he would be well advised to curtail his current habit lest it stunt his academic growth.

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